tv Louisiana Senate Debate CSPAN November 2, 2014 5:00am-5:59am EST
welcome to our debate tonight, sponsored by lsu. welcome to the candidates. they are senator mary landrieu him a congressman bill cassidy, and colonel rob maness. each candidate has one minute to respond to questions with a follow-up and some discretion of the moderator. the order of the questioning was predetermined by random drawing. we will introduce our panel of questioners as we go along beginning with great meriwether. >> good evening. americans are worried about the threat from isis. and what point would you support american troops on the ground in the middle east? >> thank you for that question, and thank you for moderating. thank you for showing up again. it is good to see you facing the voters finally for this hour. we look forward to talking about your record. i believe that isis is a very
serious threat, and i believe that we have to do everything we can to eliminate that threat. we have air strikes now to work with our partners to take out that threat. i would be open to other measures if necessary to do that and to make sure that we are as firm as we can be and that we may no mistake that this threat is real. >> with those other measures include american ground troops? >> i have said before that i would keep that option open. we've got to be careful am a because we've already put a lot of troops on the ground in iraq and afghanistan. what i would be open, and i think it is a mistake to take these options off the table, honestly. our enemies need to believe that we are serious and we will take what measures necessary to eliminate them.
quick whether it is the goal or isis, he was told a year and a half ago that isis was on the rise. when they begin to make advances, he called them the jv team. it allowed isis to disburse those weapons across iraq and syria. if the commander in chief as opposed to keep us safe and secure, he has failed. he has not presented a strategy or a plan. >> i will reserve judgment as to whether i will commit our young men and women until i see a strategy. i don't trust this president. i think he is a terrible commander-in-chief. i'm not about to commit our young men and women, when he presents a strategy that is edible, i will consider all options. until then, i will reserve judgment. >> senator, congressman am a both of you should be in
washington right now, but you are both here. both of you are ducking responsibility for our new incremental and potentially endless war against isis. our president can't be trusted with national security, and it appears that neither can you. this president has failed in every job in national security that he has attempted and senator landrieu has been a rubber stamp for every one of his feckless polities. he needs a definition of success and an exit plan. congress has the responsibility, a valid responsibility to debate whether we should be at all out war and how we are going to pay for it instead of putting this war on a credit card. the young and women that wear our uniforms, and their parents and families, deserves that our congress should be in session now. instead of giving the president a blank check. >> the question, would you support american ground troops
on the ground? >> once the president brings a strategy and the definition of success and an exit plan and congress debates it and decides whether we can pay for it or not and how were going to pay for it, as a senator i will be able to entertain that option, but we would have to be looking at ground forces. >> if the joint chiefs came out and said this is necessary, with that move any of you? >> it's interesting for these two to claim great support of the military, and i have always been a strong supporter of the military, i believe we need to listen to our generals. isis is a real threat. it is frightening to the people of our state and our country. i support our allies and i'm not
going to take any options off the table. >> i will listen to the generals, but the commander-in-chief has been feckless, totally incompetent when it comes to keeping us safe and secure. it begs the question of why senator landrieu supports him 97% of the time. >> i need to respond to that, john. nobody is arguing that isis is not a threat. it is a threat, absolutely. and nobody is not listening to the joint chiefs except for one person and that is president obama and the democratic party. he's got to get his act together and start listening to the joint chiefs carried then maybe we can get the job done without extra lives lost. >> the next round of questions a slightly different.
pacific league for one candidate. let's go to cynthia from k plc. >> senator landrieu, you admitted you miss used $33,000 in taxpayer money for air travel for charter flights tom and you paid it back. but walk us through why you need charter flights in the first place for senate business. >> thank you, cynthia, for that question. first of all, i take full responsibility for that error. it was a bookkeeping error. we did a thorough and independent review and found the $33,000 and has been fully repaid. i used charter flights to move around the state more quickly and efficiently. others travel differently. sometimes i travel by car. sometimes i travel by plane. it was within the budget and within the rules. i take full responsibility for the errors that were made in that. >> are you move at all by $17 trillion in debt? >> actually, john, the budget i receive every year, the 18 years
i have been proud to serve the people of this state, i have returned money to the treasurer. every senator has discretion as to how to use money in their own budget, but i return money every year and have lived within the budget. >> this question for congressman cassidy. >> we begin first by thanking you for being here tonight. with that said, can you explain to us why you have declined several debates? how would you respond to critics who say your strategy was to limit your exposure close to her runoff? >> i'm debating tonight. this is the second debate. how many times do we have to ask senator landrieu why she supports the president 97% of the time? the vast majority of people in louisiana have been punished i obamacare. why did she support a president who is hostile to our oil and gas jobs? there was a recent debate on the day you folks were preparing, i spoke to the verde rotary club,
toured va hospital, that with pastors, veterans, went to a manufacturing plant, and then drove to rustin and was at a meet and greet the next morning. that would not have happened if one more time we were discussing senator landrieu's vote for obama care one more time. >> would you address the part of the question, there are people who believe your strategy has been to kind of coast toward a runoff? >> people are always going to ascribe motives to you. my motive is to meet as many voters as possible. frankly reporters are the people i meet the most often. you actually meet people in different settings. we have limited time, and these debates have been great.
i think it's adequate time to discuss the issues. >> a question for colonel maness. you say you only serve two terms. since there's no such limit across the country, louisiana would never gain the influence that comes with the majority. why would this be an issue? >> first of all, we don't need senators with the seniority and clout that enables you to have a staff that spends $33,000 in tax dollars to fly yourself to campaign events, breaking the law. that's not the kind of clout we need. our first president was a military leader. if two terms were good enough for general washington, they are that she is a certainly good enough for a retired colonel. our government is designed to be run by citizen legislators, not
the citizen class that we have allowed to be created over the last several decades. we need to eliminate it, and that is why i am the one conservative in this race, and that's why i am running. >> the part of the question that deals with, that may be a wonderful idea that would work for the country, that is the other 49 states don't do it, are we at a disadvantage? >> we are not at a disadvantage because i support and advocate putting term limits into law. that is why the issues i'm going to fight for. >> another round of questions for all the candidates, beginning this time with congressman cassidy. >> the social security trustees say the trust funds will be so depleted that about 20 years that it will only be able to pay out about 75% of benefits. should congress and to restore that to 100%, or should people
my age -- i'm 35 -- should we start planning for lower benefits? >> my commitment to the people of louisiana is that if you are on social security, nothing changes. the age of eligibility and your benefits remain the same. the problem is medicare and social security trust funds are going bankrupt. senator landrieu past obamacare that took $700 billion out of the medicare trust fund to spend on obamacare. the social security disability trust fund is going bankrupt in two years. if this is personal. my mom is 91 and lives with us. the only thing we have is social and medicare. bankruptcy means an 85-year-old will see her benefits decreased by 25%. we can fix this. if you take someone who is 30, she would become eligible for benefits one-month later than she ordinarily would.
by doing that we can fulfill the promise that if they are currently on social security nothing changes. the cost of doing nothing is that your security is destroyed. >> republicans make frequently what may be the valid argument that when it comes to increases in the budget, the cuts that democrats often complain about, is really a cut in the growth of spending. it is really money that was taken out of the growth in what medicare would have had otherwise. it wasn't a real cut. is it inconsistent for you to suggest that they cut $750 million, which would imply that they went and grabbed $750 million? >> anyone who's out of pocket is greater for their own medicare benefits is finding those cuts are real. it wasn't just a change in the growth of spending. it was actually taking money
from the trust fund that we knew would be spent and instead has decided to spend it on obamacare. i can take it that's not the way to save medicare. >> your thoughts on social security, how do we fix it? >> the important thing to remember is that the issue with the social security trust fund dollars that are available gives us some time, about 15 years before anybody needs to look at a change in benefits. so we have some time to work and sit down and come to the table and find solutions that will work. we've got to stop politicizing this issue and scaring people have to death. that's what these two folks over here represent, that hyper partisan extremism that doesn't get americans to the table to find solutions. we have the time to get that done. we need to find solutions. everything needs to be on the table. it's a valid proposal.
those of the principles that i know. those are the principles that i will circle. you're nots say that supposed to bring props. >> i have been at five debates and i respect his work and his service in the air force. he has no plan for social security as you just heard. the greatest difference between my opponent and myself is this you. my upon his own four times to raise the age to 70. he doubled down and said he doesn't think it is going to hurt anybody in louisiana. expectancy of an african-american in madison parish is 70 years old. work theirthem to
whole life and pay into social security and earn benefits and get nothing back. that is not a solution and i will never vote to raise the age. there are solutions. let me offer one. people don't pay into social security after $116,000 of their salary. that people who are in over a million dollars he or could pay a little bit more into social security. >> your time has expired but let me follow up. your argument has been that the congressman, if we follow his path, gets everybody 60% of the benefits unless they retire at age 70. explain to me, because right now the trustees say that in 19 years everybody gets 75. everybody gets 75% of their benefits. one day a woman gets $.75 on the dollar out of nowhere.
how is this past different from his? -- path different from his? >> there is a big difference in our policies and what he is voted for. i will not vote to raise the social security age to 70. i will vote to add money to fund. i will not vote to cut social security to 70 and i will note vote for coupons for medicare. he wants to change medicare as we know it and i don't think that is right. >> we will make it to medicare later -- a rebuttal? >> you can still retire at 62, that doesn't change. the difference between us is that her path doesn't work. if you look at the actuaries, it doesn't work. your benefits will be cut by 25% because -- >> let me get a final word. >> thank you. senator, you are becoming like the president. you keep saying things that are
just not true. we do have a plan but we want to talk visible in this discussion so people of louisiana and america can understand our principles. i will not talk from a legislative perspective. neither one of these planes work. neither one of these planes work. >> i am not sure what your plan is -- what is your plan? >> the plan needs to be that we come to the table and find solutions that will work because neither one of these plans work because the people sitting in this audience that have paid into social security deserve to get the benefits that they have paid for and neither one of those work. >> let's go back to our next question. >> there are millions of illegal immigrants already in our country. outside of the debate on border defense and security what do we do with the folks that are already here? >> thanks for the question.
i will say it again. secure the border, secure the border, secure the border. no amnesty and no pathway to citizenship. both of the folks to my left -- one of the folks agrees with amnesty and one think there should be a pathway to citizenship. my answer to that is not a pathway to citizenship but to go home. they need to be repatriated. those dollars are in the federal budget. we need to take care of and respect the american citizens and the legal immigrants that are here going through the process now before we do anything else like give welfare housing to illegal aliens. >> send them home? >> we need to repatriate them. >> i support a strong border and have for many years. i have increased the number of border agents from 15,000 to 20,000.
i have joined john mccain, friend of my opponent, and passing comprehensive immigration bills to double it from 20,000 to 40,000. i also support a fence 700 miles long. they can tell the difference between a dear or a person -- a dear and a person. those that say i'm not for secure border are false. for the people that are here, yes, i support a copper hands of bill supported by the catholic church, the chamber of commerce, voted on by 67 or 70 members. they do find a path forward. it is important to for our economy. after finds, after english, getting to the back of the line. >> the president has responsibility is to keep -- the president is responsible he has clearly failed. if you come here legally there
should not be a pathway to citizenship. by the way, the good thing about video -- she says she is all for the fence. we have a club for saying she will never again vote for a dumb fence. in terms of what we do with the folks that are here, it depends on how long it takes to secure the border. if it takes 30 years to secure the border they will have to dig some people up to move them out. if we can secure within three months it is a totally different situation. it depends on how long it takes. as long as obama is president he will not secure the border. as long as harry reid has the senate they were not secure the border. >> in the interest of time -- senator, you have tried and failed. nobody is saying you didn't
support border security measures. the evidence is clear. two deputies out on the west coast were killed in the last few days by an illegal alien that had been deported twice and the law is not being enforced. our border is not secure and they are dead. we need to respect the american citizens. the legal immigrants that are here going through the process and those are visiting legally. we must secure the border. >> senator, your response? >> i am for building a smart fence that can tell the difference between a deer and a person and so did taxpayers. they don't want to waste money on things that don't work. i have been to the border. i have seen the tunnels. i have seen people crawl over them. we need to have a smart technology using everything. i would put my record up against securing the border. >> let me get a final word.
have you been to the border? >> no. >> i have commanded the united states air force base -- >> on the border? >> north of the border. our primary concern was border security. >> let's go to the next question. >> how do you feel about governor bobby jindal's refusal to accept medicaid dollars when so many working poor could have benefited? >> thank you. both of my opponents agree with jindal that we should not expand medicaid. i think it is tragic. 200 52,000 people that wake up and go to work every day could be benefiting from health insurance. they talk a lot about a
workforce -- it is hard to have a strong workforce of it is not healthy. i believe that -- it would have brought $16 billion. this is three times the amount of jobs that will be brought here. i oppose the governor's actions. i sent letters and showed up, asking him to say yes to 250 2000 people in our state and that is part of why i am proud to run against them. >> a doctor who has been working for 25 years treating the uninsured -- you might ask, if it is so good, why does it go to a charity hospital? it is so far beneath the dr.'s cost she cannot afford to receive a large number of medicaid patients. medicaid is the illusion of coverage without the power of access.
and for this meant that it wouldn't -- for this myth that it went cost taxpayers anything. it would cost louisiana taxpayers $600 million. along the way, we find those states that have done medicaid expansion, there has been increased visits to emergency rooms, people dropping private insurance, and outcomes are no better than among the uninsured. it is a broken system and we should not expand it. >> governor jindal is right. we shouldn't accept the medicaid expansion because louisiana taxpayers get left holding the bag. the costs are quite high.
the other thing is that we need to the outcome based. if we want to help those that need it, we have to have outcomes that are better than what the medicaid system provides and that is the issue we need to address. >> any follow-up. -- let me follow up. there is an estimate that $1.65 billion in the year 2022 -- but it does cost $230 million. everybody here -- walk me through why do you think that is or isn't because there are those who argue that you should take the money while it is available. >> one of the big differences here -- this is stark to me. bill cassidy is a doctor that has been paid a salary from medicaid. he has earned a living from medicaid but it is not good enough for people that work to get health care. i didn't say that it didn't cost anything, i said it didn't cost the state of louisiana for the first three years. it is the best investment we could make.
the state would put up $.10 and get $.90 back. that's a great investment. we need to support working people for health care. one more point -- and the states where medicaid has been expanded, the cost of insurance has gone down for everyone. >> limited the others to weigh in. >> she is arguing that it is worth -- you take the money because it is offered. >> 60% of the people that joint medicaid and medicaid expansion drop private insurance, which means the taxpayers are responsible. that could cost $600 million to our taxpayers. the only place we get that $600 million is either raising taxes or taking an institution to hire. working as a teacher for 25 years means that medicaid has paid by salary.
i say -- look at one of my bosses. that is related to us, not expanding a broken system. >> we have to move on. >> you brought up obamacare and i have got to say it is an abomination and we need to pull it out by the roots. in addition to trying to fix a system that is broken, it is not going to work. why not take the money, as some are looking governors have, and -- >> the louisiana taxpayers of the person that is going to be holding the bag. that is so we are in elected office. cleo it to them not to take their tax dollars. >> in the university president wants his -- urban institute's show that is not the case.
we need to be honest. >> i have got to move on. >> keeping it in the medical arena, the global concern with the ebola virus. a nurse was quarantined against her will. just today, president obama spoke from the white house surrounded by medical members who had returned from west africa, many within their 21 day incubation. given that health experts are contagious only when showing symptoms, should americans suspected of having ebola be forced into quarantine? >> the president has failed to keep us safe and secure. we know how to control ebola. there was an outbreak in 1976. they issued travel restrictions, they taught nationals how to treat disease, they taught the people of the country how to avoid infection. let it but at this way.
if somebody gets on the plane and she doesn't have symptoms, but it is a 36 hour flight and she develops her symptoms halfway across the atlantic, she potentially infects an entire plane. i am not making this up. this is how it works. the president may surround himself with people who are asymptomatic but the reality is that one of them could be symptomatic the day they leave. they could go on the subway and potentially infect others. we need to restrict travels and teach nationals how to treat the disease. teach infection control. >> the disconnect between the cdc and what it thinks it knows and what is reality has become surreal. our lives are in the hands of an agency full of politicized academics and 90 professors. -- and nutty professors.
we need some common sense applied. a doctor came from west africa that had been affected with ebola. he went riding on the subway, went bowling -- what kind of arrogance is that? we have got a travel ban on the western african nations. we have got to do screening at every port of entry. we have got to do quarantines where is it -- it is appropriate. we have got to protect our medical folks, nurses and doctors, in the same way we protect them at emory university and other specialized units. but most of all, the cdc has got to learn to admit when it doesn't know something. >> thank you. >> thank you. i do support a 21 day quarantine and i know the presidents has said he will not. but i do believe that this is
very fearful for many people in america. i think a 21 day quarantine is a minimum that we should do for doctors and nurses and health care professionals that are going to these three countries and treating a bowl of patients. yes, it is an inconvenience, but i think it is necessary so this disease does not start breaking out in america. number two -- my opponent voted to cut cdc funding by $600 million. you can't criticize the cdc and then cut their budget and when they fail to stand up criticize them. >> your response? >> the washington post has made it clear that the cdc budget has been cut -- that. let's be honest with the american people.
that is not true. it is a false narrative. >> the congressman has a little less time. i'm going to move on. >> these two folks in washington both voted for a continuing resolution that gave the president the ability to deploy 4000 americans into these ebola hot zones. they are willing military uniforms and they are going to get infected. they need to start taking responsibility, both of them, and all of their colleagues, to what this president is doing and holding him in check to keep him from hurting the american people. >> thank you. all right. let's move on. next question. >> i am part of the first
generation of americans who may not achieve the same standard of living as their parents. that is a very frightening concept will stop what is the role of government in ensuring economic prosperity for my generation and future generations? >> the first real gaffe of the night. >> first of all, that is a legitimate concern. that is one of the things i will work hardest on, trying to lift the economic power of our country. as chair of the energy committee i am in a great position on behalf of the people of louisiana to help create millions of high-paying jobs that your generation can benefit. i am excited to be here, where we have science, technology, engineering, and math. two, i also think access to
education is important. my opponent refuses to sign onto a bill to lower interest rates on student loans. he has refused to do that and he won't sign on a bill to double the opportunity for poor students who want to work but they come from families that simply can't afford the cost of education. >> i can tell you -- governm doesn'ten create permanent jobs and if they don't want toh ave. -- to have. benefits. she said her first priority has become becoming chair -- has becoming chair of the energy committee.
if she has done everything in her power it must mean she is not very powerful. the law is a damper on the economy. if you look at income earners you will find -- 400 custodial and food service workers had their hours reduced because they could not afford the obamacare law. >> the main thing he has been able to accomplish on energy is the push through obama up off anti-energy appointees and we don't need that kind of clout. what we need to do is pull of obamacare out by the roots. i have been in all 64 parishes and talked to small business owners all over. everyone of them gave me the same message -- sir, you have got to do away with obamacare,
we cannot afford the restrictions, we cannot afford the new fees, we cannot afford the taxes and we are not creating the jobs we could. that is hurting the economic spectrum, exactly what it was supposed to help. we need to unleash our energy sector in this state so we can lead america to energy independence. that is what we should be doing here in louisiana. drill, baby, drill. >> let me go back to this issue of clout. and $8 billion investment was announced. there is a threat, it is thought, from the ozone rules that would threaten to damper this explosion of growth. what would you say to those who argue that whether your chairmanship is a good idea or
not, the crowd you are hanging with, those who are more proenvironment, together with an administration that can be anti-energy and anti-fossil fuels, is it worth it? >> this is a senate. it is about voting. you can look at my record. i opposed the rule for air control. i support the keystone pipeline. i moved it out of my committee as quickly as i could after six years of stalling. we are going to get a vote. we are going to continue to work on it. more importantly, i have already passed a bill that has 8.5 million acres, for drilling in
the gulf of mexico. i have worked with three presidents and for majority leader's. i have worked with governors. i have been able to move an energy agenda forward regardless of who was there. >> to congress and cassidy -- you spoke to the louisiana chemical association and acknowledged that many of the people in the room, including the head, are with your opponent. they must be with your opponent for some reason. they are not doing it just out of friendship. >> he told me that it was a personal relationship. it is not about a personal relationship, it is about the future of our country. the biggest threat is the obama appointee who can regulate it to death. she might be for a keystone pipeline, but her first vote will be for harry reid. harry reid will never allow a
vote on the keystone xl pipeline. then he will play barbara boxer as head of the environment and public works committee to make sure that there is a stranglehold. she has clout which uses it from barack obama. -- clout but she uses it for barack obama. there is a picture of her holding hands with obama. she has clout but she uses it for barack obama. >> the follow-up questions are a little more open-ended. i want to make sure everybody gets their shot. colonel, they used to joke that republicans in louisiana -- why do you suppose that is if it
doesn't involve jobs? >> they have the lowest unemployment rate down there. that is the way the entire state of louisiana ought to be. her clout is being used for things like funneling money to political candidates that fight against oil and gas companies that should be helped here in louisiana. and of course boise bollinger is going to love her because she incorporates things like coast guard cutters they didn't ask for. those dollars should be around the state of louisiana for competition and free market because that is what government is about. that is the way government should be. >> now he has done a little too
far. let me talk about the coast guard. the coast guard is one of the most popular federal agencies in the country. the coast guard showed up when our people were 14 feet underwater, colonel. i support the coast guard. they need those boats. they need to intercept drugs coming across the border. if you want to secure the border you should support the coast guard. i am very proud that we are building coast guard boats here in louisiana. the more we can support these federal agencies you can count on me. you cannot count on the others. >> like final word -- a quick final word. >> to even imply that i don't support the united states coast guard or any other military members or their families is
absolutely silly and ridiculous. i do believe that we are almost $18 trillion in debt in this country and if the united states coast guard commandant only asks to build two cutters than that of the amounts they should be appropriated when the request comes to the u.s. senate. we are in a crisis in our debt. to people in louisiana deserve it so they can have long-term sustainability. >> thank you. >> his first photo will be for harry reid. harry reid has turned the senate into a rubber stamp for barack obama. >> we are $17 trillion in debt. she would be shoving coast guard cutters down there for? >> i am the chair of the
committee and the fact of the matter is the coast guard is desperate for these boats. the president of the united states undercut the coast guard budget and i restored the money on the condition of the president -- over the condition of the president because sometimes i don't agree with him. i have tried to represent louisiana plus interests 100% of the time. try to read the coast guard budget. they need to capitalize on the fleet that is an average of 50 years old. >> the next question -- it will be for congressman cassidy. >> keeping with the economic opportunity -- the median income for an african-american household in the united states is roughly 60% of the median for a white household. it is even worse in louisiana. what do you think is the cause of this disparity? is it something that needs to be
addressed now? >> income inequality has increased over president -- under president obama. you have been hammered. we will start our website -- you can see that, because of obamacare, the lowest fifth of income earners have seen their salaries of tougher -- seen their salaries suffer because of obamacare. it is explicitly because of obamacare. not just louisiana. philadelphia and atlanta this. it was known that this would happen. it was known that if you passed this mandate employers are going to lay people off and lower their hours. she said she would vote for obamacare again tomorrow. she is really saying that she doesn't care that they just took 400 lower paid workers and took them from full to part time. i care. i would repeal and replace obamacare.
>> repeal, replace, bought out by the roots. it is un-american when you start to destroy jobs through a law that is supposed to be helping people. that is not the role of government. the role of government is to create the environment so jobs can be created and that is what we do when we unleash our energy sector. that is what we do when we get out of the way of our commercial fisherman and let them do their jobs the way they know. we create jobs. that is the answer to poverty. we have a poverty rate of near 20% and that is only 50% less than what it was when we started the war on poverty back in the 1960's and we spent over $23 trillion on it. we are not doing the right thing, we are only doing the same thing. unemployment for young, black men in this state is three times the rate of anybody else.
the answer to poverty is to get his this is to be able to thrive and create jobs, not destroy them. >> anyone here and any student of history would know that one of the answers to the question is racism. the african-american community has been kept out, shuts down, cap back. that is part of what we try to do for communities that have been left out. women as a class sometimes couldn't even teach schools. not only do african-americans have a lower income but their average net worth is only $5,000. for hispanic families it is only $6,000. send me back to the senate and let me help create these energy jobs that can help lift a whole new generation in america and in louisiana up to a greater
standard of living. >> i see the kernel shaking his head. >> under the obama economy there have been 78,000 more people in louisiana who have gone on to get new jobs. the economy discourages the use of america's natural resources. one thing that can create prosperity is energy jobs. the senator may be for them personally but when she votes for harry reid and barack obama appointees those jobs will not occur the same as they would. >> colonel? >> it is unbelievable. let us get the facts right. of course we support equal pay for women. the facts are that the senator's office staff -- women are underpaid and those are the facts. let's get to the facts and
really understand what is wrong and what is going on. the federal government is interfering with the state of louisiana and destroying jobs on the economic spectrum that they are trying to help. we need to turn that around. that is why i have sponsored acts like the redeemed act to help the unemployment and incarceration rates in the state so that we can forgive minor, nonviolent offenses. >> the charged that he just made you has made every day and it is absolutely false. my first chief of staff was a female. my current chief of staff is the only african-american chief of staff in the senate. she is looking at statistics and -- he is looking at statistics and using them for his own purposes. he does not support equal pay laws on the books. they both voted against the lily ledbetter law. i was very proud to support that law so women can get an equal
pension when they have been unjustly paid less. >> we have about a minute before we get to our final round of question. when you throw some yes or knows. higher federal minimum wage? >> i support it. >> that kills 500,000 jobs. no. >> higher federal minimum wage is just another one-size-fits-all solution and i believe people should have the opportunity. >> marriage for same-sex couples could be a national issue. very quickly. ? my personal views have evolved quite a bit but i have said i will support the state constitutional ban.
>> i am for traditional marriage. >> i believe it is a state issue and should be decided by the states, but i believe marriage be between one man dead and one woman. >> final question. >> we have a picket idea of where you guys stand on the issues. let me ask each of your personal question. what has been your greatest, the biggest setback in life, and what you do to overcome it -- wha did you do to overcome it? >> i have to think about that. craig, at the risk of sounding trite, my dad didn't go to college. we moved to louisiana when i was eight months old. my dad was struggling. we had moved, trying to gain traction. we are living the american dream. i didn't come from royalty.
i would say i came from two great parents. although he struggled and i was a child, my family and we overcame, in the sense that it wasn't an obstacle -- it was just life. but through incredible love of family and support for my parents, i am living the american dream. that is my desire for everybody tonight. >> colonel? >> a great question. i have put it into categories. the personal 1 -- my greatest has been those times, i have had to give answers to my wife and children when i came up short and it hurt them. we have always learned to trust god and overcome those challenges and continue to build our family strong. professionally it is when i failed out of pilot training and
i wanted to be the pilot of a supersonic large aircraft that could fly at the edge of space. i failed out of pilot training that i became a navigator. i flew a supersonic aircraft. i was honored to serve in the united states air force. >> in my personal life, it would be when i was here and wanted to be in the christian advocacy world. i went to a bible study and submitted my application and was rejected. it was a very hard rejection. i went on to do other good things. in my professional life -- my biggest setback was when i flew over that levy that broke.
i had just been there the day before. i thought they were still there -- it may be believe the president was trying to do the right thing. when i flew over that levy and there was nothing there, i thought, you better grow up and figure this out quickly. >> we are out of time. we believe that each candidate should have the opportunity to talk to you without a filter. one minute closing remarks. >> i again want to thank the moderators. i have got great respect for the kernel. -- the colonel.
he would be one more voice for the tea party. i am glad he showed up to talk about his hurtful record. i want to go back to washington and represent the good people of the state, continue to work on an energy policy that gets jobs here at home. we can be energy self-sufficient. we have 200 years of natural gas. now is not the time to slow down, to change leadership, this is the time to move forward and create economic opportunity. i have worked across party lines, regardless of who has been president. i ask for your vote and thank you for tuning in tonight. >> thank you. i believe that ronald reagan would have been a tea party member and i am proud to say that i am a lifelong ronald reagan republican. by the grace of god we have created the nation centered on the sacred nature of human life. that is where our ideas of
liberty, you quality, and human dignity came from. as colonel nathan jessup famously said, we live in a world that has walls and those walls have to be protected. we built this ago walls to protect ourselves from worldly enemies. at home we have built walls of faith, custom, and law. people ask me why i am running. i am driven by my deep faith. i am galvanized by god, who has taught me that while freedom is his gift, it is up to us to protect it. our government is failing us and abandoning our walls abroad and trampling them at home. here i am, volunteering to man the wall. i am asking for your vote in order to bring about a government that is once again worthy of the american people.
>> in louisiana there is a woman who will not be able to go to sleep, not sure she can pay her bills. groceries and utilities have risen, but wages remain flat. she just got a health insurance premium that has risen by 20%. we are told that obamacare has decreased premiums by $2500 per family. you could have kept your doctors. it was all false. when you go to vote, think of that woman. six more years of the same policy. if you think that will help, vote for senator andrew. if you want a senator who is going to stand up to barack obama, who passes -- >> we are out of time. >> we will repeal and replace obamacare. >> thank you so much.